Archive for the ‘Books – Nonfiction’ category

Want To Read: Typo

November 19, 2008

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Typo: The Last American Typesetter, or, How I Made and Lost $4 Million (An Entrepreneur’s Education) by David Silverman

Click on the title for the publisher’s website; click on the writer’s name for his website — which features a sample chapter, some chapter excerpts in MP3 format, and even an errata!

After the break, several videos both with David Silverman as well as hilarious animated excerpts from the book.

See the videos

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Must Read: Lili Marlene

November 17, 2008

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Lili Marlene: The Soldiers’ Song of World War II by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller

“Lili Marlene,” the unlikely anthem of World War II, cut across front lines and ideological divides, uniting soldiers across the globe. This love song, telling the story of a young woman waiting for her lover to return from the battlefield, began as a poem written by a German solider during World War I. The soldier-poet’s words found their way to Berlin’s decadent cabaret scene in the 1930s, where they were set to music by one of Hitler’s favored composers. The song’s singer, however, soon found herself torn between her desire for fame and a personal hatred of the Nazi regime. In a gripping and suspenseful narrative, the three artists’ remarkable stories of arrests and close calls intertwine with the recollections of soldiers on all sides who fought their way through deserts and towns, seeking solace and finding hope in “Lili Marlene.”

I happened to tune into The John Batchelor Show last night on WABC-AM in NYC and heard the authors. It’s an absolutely fascinating story.

This is the direct download link to the MP3 file (right-click Save As…). The interview begins at 1:36:32.

There’s also The Official Lili Marleen Page which has a ton of MP3 versions of the song, including the originals from that time.

Update: In a Comment, the authors reveal there is an entire site for the book. It has a great excerpt plus several versions of the song to stream. Go look!

Want To Read NOW: Scratch Beginnings

November 17, 2008

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Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search For the American Dream by Adam Shepard

I am going to start – almost literally from scratch – with one 8′ x 10′ tarp, a sleeping bag, an empty gym bag, $25, and the clothes on my back. Via train, I will be dropped at a random place somewhere in the southeastern United States that is not in my home state of North Carolina. I have 365 days to become free of the realities of homelessness and become a “regular” member of society. After one year, for my project to be considered successful, I have to possess an operable automobile, live in a furnished apartment (alone or with a roommate), have $2500 in cash, and, most importantly, I have to be in a position in which I can continue to improve my circumstances by either going to school or starting my own business.

I’ve read the intro and I want to read this book. NOW.

I have an Endless Queue of books and I never allow something to jump in front unless it’s something related to something I need to do for this blog (right now, that’s meant reading Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, for a post that might or might work out).

But this book I want NOW. I’ll put aside the Fleming and read this first.

The NYPL has ordered only two copies and already has a 20-long queue.

If I wait for the NYPL, it won’t get in this blog (because this blog ends 12/31/08).

HarperCollins, give up a review copy!

I’ll make a frikkin trip to your offices and you can leave it with the lobby security guard, for crying out loud. That’s how NOW I mean!

R.I.P. Writer Marilyn Ferguson

November 12, 2008

Marilyn Ferguson: New Age writer

Marilyn Ferguson wrote many influential books about the human brain and psychiatric practices. Her best-selling The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980) did much much to establish the “New Age” movement in popular culture. Ferguson emerged in Los Angeles in the late 1960s where she studied pschiatry and became interested in the workings of the human brain. Her ideas were formalised her book the Brain Revolution (1973). Her Brain/Mind Bulletin from 1975 would gain 10,000 subscribers and establish her reputation.

Click the link for more. Clearly she was way ahead of her time.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #390: Booked

November 12, 2008

The end of Wall Street and Michael Lewis’ new “fucking book”

As I was reading the article, Matt Bucher dropped a note into my inbox. As hoped for months ago, Lewis is writing a book about this whole mess.

MONEYBALL and THE BLIND SIDE author Michael Lewis’s untitled behind-the-scenes story of a few men and women who foresaw the current economic disaster, tried to prevent it, but were overruled by the financial institutions with whom they worked, sold to Star Lawrence at Norton, by Al Zuckerman at Writers House (NA).

By the time it comes out, we won’t be able to read it.

No one will be able to afford to buy it.

And all the libraries will have been shut down.

Before that day, click on the above link for many other links for reading today.

Note To Self: Must Read This Book

November 10, 2008

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Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: Insanely Annoying Modern Things by Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur

An encyclopedic attack on modern culture so hilariously bitter that it actually becomes uplifting. Based on two runaway UK bestsellers, this new American edition has been ingeniously adapted and features exclusive new material for US audiences by Brendan Hay, a former Daily Show headline producer and contributing writer to America: The Book.

If you hate chick lit, Che Guevara merchandise, pop Kabbalah, cosmetic-surgery-gone-wrong-as-tv-programming, DVDs with ads you can’t skip, or any of a few hundred other insanely annoying modern things, then this book will finally lend creedence to your frustrations.

Say NO to the awful ideas, terrible people, useless products, and infuriating doublespeak that increasingly dominates our lives. Never before has there been a book so completely full of shit.

Clearly, it isn’t just you…

Discussion About Book Reviews

November 10, 2008

Over at Char’s Book Reviews and Writing News is: Review: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, which is a review of a book about book reviewing as well as part of a Blog Book Tour for the book.

I assert that book reviews (and music reviews) are irrelevant these days.

I also added to that thinking in a Comment (which I must quote in full since I can’t find a way to link directly to it):

See, the thing is, before the Net, you’d read a review in paper. Then you’d have to make a real effort to order the book or buy it at a bookstore or go to the library.

These days, you can quickly sample a book via the Net.

Thus, there’s less need for the kind of reviewing that was done in the past. Instead of a “bullhorn” review touting something, a gentle tap on the shoulder to make someone aware of something is all the effort needed today, I think.

Go there and join in the discussion.